As someone who produced corporate films, documentaries and commercials for 30 years before becoming a real estate broker, I am in a good position to tell you that video marketing has become one of the most effective and essential tools for selling real estate.
Not only is it crucial to stay on top of the newest sales tactics, but it is equally important to be promoting listings where most prospective homebuyers are. More consumers than ever are watching and engaging with videos online, while marketing experts worldwide agree they are a powerful component in any digital advertising strategy and the type of content with the best return on investment (ROI).
In our current marketplace, potential buyers explore real estate with much more diligence and intensity then they have in the past. They want a 360-degree virtual tour of a property before actually seeing it to get a better sense of the room proportions, ceiling heights, the surrounding neighborhood and the overall feel of the home.
So, if you have been wondering whether or not it is worth investing your time and money into hiring a professional videographer to produce a custom video tour of your listing, the short answer is: Yes!
To determine who would be the best fit, you’ll need to learn more about their background and skills to help you make the right decision. Interview as many different potentials as possible to get a feel for what’s out there, and make sure the one you ultimately choose meets all your criteria for producing the kind of video that will best market your property.
Before hiring a videographer to create your listing video, make sure to ask these six key questions:
1. How long have you been filming real estate listing videos, and how many do you do a year?
You’ll want to know if they have relevant real estate-specific experience and understand exactly how to showcase your listing’s unique features in their best light. If they’ve worked within the industry on similar projects, you should be able to trust that they will precisely match the video’s cinematography and music to the same mood that your listing evokes in person. A well-qualified videographer will ensure this and an optimal final product.
2. How would you describe your personal style?
It’s important to get a sense of the videographer’s style to make sure their vision and aesthetic aligns with yours.
Ask them to send you sample videos they’ve recently created to access the quality of their work. Look at the production values with a critical eye — the cinematography, editing, music — and most importantly, how all the pieces fit together.
3. How does your pricing work?
Videographers typically charge a flat rate based on the time it will take to shoot and edit. This price should include at least two rounds of possible revisions on the first draft. It’s important to tell them how small or large your listing is and if you would like to shoot footage of the surrounding neighborhood, so they can give a more accurate estimate.
There will also likely be other fees associated cancellations, transportation, music licensing, additional post-production requests outside of what is already included. There might be additional costs if your shoot requires special equipment.
4. What information do you need from me?
Besides the obvious address and desired shoot date, your videographer should ask you a few necessary questions to prepare for the shoot, such as: A list of key neighborhood assets or building amenities you want to highlight, any specific listing elements you want to feature as close-ups, what the natural lighting is like, and the audience demographics you’re aiming to appeal to.
The more detail you can provide them with prior to the shoot the better.
5. What equipment will you use?
Film technology and techniques are constantly evolving. You will want to make sure your videographer is up-to-date and using the most reliable, professional equipment. Most get the job done with a standard size camera, but it ‘s a good idea to ask this beforehand so you know what to expect on the day of the shoot.
6. When will I receive the final cut?
Editing can take a while, especially if the videographer is popular and in high demand. It’s always a good idea to agree on timing regarding the final cut (and a schedule for possible rounds of revisions) to ensure the timing aligns with your schedule.
Leveraging video is one of the most powerful and creative sales tactics to generate interest for your listing across digital platforms in today’s competitive real estate marketplace.
Interviewing several videographers and asking these questions will provide you with a solid foundation of research to help you choose the right one for you and your listing.
Robert E. Elson is a licensed Realtor with Warburg Realty in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn.